Tuesday, June 30, 2009

tunnel

We picked up a new toy for the kitties over the weekend - a cat tunnel.







I think Jinx approves ;o)

xo

(more pics here.... if you can stand the cuteness!)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

party time

We've had an excellent time this afternoon, celebrating the birthday of one of our favourite little girls, with some of our best friends.

The best part about a kids' party, though?


FAIRY BREAD, of course!!!! =)

xo

Friday, June 26, 2009

Peace, Love and Harmony

Tonight we had the pleasure of seeing these guys perform live.



They were, as always, amazing!

xo

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cat nap granny

Obviously the granny square love had been rubbing off on some other, furrier members of the Kuka family.



That's one of the squares I crocheted up over the weekend - the framed flower block (again from the 200 Crochet Blocks book) - Max is resting his little head on.



Obviously being a cat is exhausting work around these parts ;o)

xo

Sunday, June 21, 2009

shortest day

This time of year I sometimes find myself feeling a bit sad that we don't have snowy winters here.
But then, in what white winter landscape would the shortest day of the year see the first pink blossoms bursting out?



Our apricot tree has suddenly looked right on the verge of flowering for a few days now, and sure enough this afternoon these lovelies uncurled. It seems like just last week that the leaves dropped!

In fact they're running a little late - when we moved in almost exactly a year ago we were welcomed by the tree in full blossom. I expect we'll see a similar show before the week is out.

Last year we didn't know what to expect from the blossoms, our best guess was maybe almonds. Hopefully this year, knowing what we're looking after, we'll be able to cultivate a better crop - last year's apricots were quite floury, perhaps for lack of water?

Besides the new blossoms bursting out, we also have cauliflower and broccoli growing great guns in our garden at the moment, but, unfortunately, I think that morning with the -6C frost was just a touch too much for the passionfruit!

xo

Saturday, June 20, 2009

willow

What a coomfy cosy day today - inside, that it. Outside it was another glorious gloomy wintry kind of day. Perfect for acting on all that inspiration, and getting on with some bright crochet of my own =)



This is the start of a(nother!) little project from Jan Eaton's 200 Crochet Blocks - the willow block, to be precise =)

I have blue, yellow and purple, but I'm thinking about throwing in another colour - I'm not sure whether these will be as bright as I want? (I know! Purple and yellow, but not bright enough?!!)

In any case, it should be a good warm-up for our crochet a granny square afternoon at next week's Brown Owls meet!

xo

Monday, June 15, 2009

Granny inspiration

Oooooh all I can think about this week is granny squares!!! Granny granny granny squares! And then some more granny squares! =)

Here are some of my favourites from flickr this week (can you tell that it's cold and gloomy here, and I'm living my colours through the net??)

1. Calor, um projeto colorido, 2. Untitled, 3. It's done!, 4. a rainbow of roses, 5. IMG_2369, 6. Sunburst Granny Square...blanket, 7. Waiting closeup, 8. Granny Scape, 9. 148, 10. Granny Square Blanket, 11. hexagons in progress, 12. Last Batch 121/121....circle in a square, 13. joining granny squares :: step 20, 14. First Blanket, 15. first 8, 16. Bright granny squares afghan

I've been working on a few crochety things, but my hands just can't keep up with my brain! And it's all I can do not to order some squooshy yarn in 14 bright colours and get started on something new!

xo

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Brightly Coloured


It's been a bit grey and gloomy, and COLD here (-6C this morning!), so I thought it would be a perfect time to share a few links to some brightly coloured crochety bloggy worlds I've been spending a bit of time in lately =)

Attic 24
Posy
Sols(tr)ikke
Carina

Enjoy! =)

xo

Monday, June 08, 2009

Kirky

It's my pleasure to introduce to you Kirky, the little brown dog! =)

I sewed Kirky this weekend using the Lucky dog pattern, which is on the front cover of the Softies book.

He's made from a pair of nice soft microfibre teatowels, with cotton ears and a little felt face.

Because he was going to live with someone even littler, I was super careful to make sure all the seams were sewn tightly up - I went around twice with a straight stitch, then just outside that with a nice tight zig-zag, and then trimmed along the seams with my pinking shears. Kirky's body is all one piece except for the ears so I sewed over those a few extra times too.

Kirky's favourite thing in the world (well, so far, he's not even a day old yet!) is his taggy blanket.



It was so much fun picking out cute bright fabrics from my quilting stash to make the squares for this! The plain squares are made from flannel, corduroy, polar fleece and the same microfibre as Kirky, and I picked out a bunch of different size and textures of ribbon from my collection so they're interesting for little hands to look at and play with. Again, all the seams were triple sewn, with straight and zig-zag stitches. Like the ears, the ribbon tags were stitches over several times on each seam, to make sure they're extra super secure.

It was also very satisfying to from having a stack of fabrics and some idea to actually handing over something finished to a little girl in just a weekend - you know, finishing is something I really struggle with here! =)

Also I really enjoyed finally making something from one of my (several) softies books - I plan on trying a couple more patterns for the upcoming Softies for Mirabel this year =)

Oooh, also, blogless Mary-Lou commented on my ANZAC biscuit post asking about what golden syrup is - I've heard it's near impossible to find in most parts of North America.

Golden syrup is a product of the sugar cane refining process. It's a little bit like treacle but much lighter in taste and colour - it looks like honey. I think there are a bunch of places you can get golden syrup online, including Amazon

According to wikipedia, in many areas of the US you can find King Brand syrup, which is a mixture of corn syrup and invert syrup and can be used as a substitute. Or, if you can find 'cane syrup' that should be similar, I think?

I found a recipe at 101 cookbooks which substitutes honey - I think the fact that this recipe uses brown sugar as well as white would also help give a bit more of that golden caramel sugary taste too =)
Good luck, Mary-Lou! I'd love to hear how you go! =)

xo

Sunday, June 07, 2009

sew weekendy



Gosh, I can't believe its Sunday night already - it really feels like we've just been off work one day! Thank goodness we have a long weekend!

We had a nice stay at home day today - outside it was another grey drizzley day so it was lovely to be inside all cozy.

I spent my day with my sewing machine, and surrounded by fabric. Hopefully I'll have something all finished to show you tomorrow =)

And, as usual, I had plenty of furry help at hand ;o)

xo

Saturday, June 06, 2009

afternoon tea


Mmm we indulged in a lovely slice of chocolatey not-quite-birthday cake for afternoon tea today.

I didn't quite exactly bake it myself, but I was responsible for adding the red and blue mini M&Ms! =)

xo

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

bugs and mental health

We had a guy come to check the house for termites today (and found NO SIGN OF TERMITE ACTION - hurrah!!), and although he was only here for a couple of hours I took the rest of the day off - kind of a mental health afternoon, if you will.



It was another lovely stay inside kind of day - we even go a bit of rain =)
I think the plants enjoyed it (although bug guy tells me I'll still need to water the broccoli).



I think I mentioned I'm in the process of cleaning up my crafty space, and today (when I probably should have been folding the washing) the pile of fabric on the shelf called to me and I spent the afternoon folding in front of Star Trek (Deep Space Nine, fyi, including the one where they go back in time to the tribbles episode)



All my spare crafty time at the moment is being spent working on my cross stitching, but I'm really looking foward to cutting into and using some of these fabrics - I might even do some sewing on the weekend =)

xo

Monday, June 01, 2009

Best left to the experts

Sometimes, when you're after just the right results, it's best to go straight to the experts, so when I had a hankering for a little something baked tonight, I didn't hesitate to pull out my Country Treasures cookbook for the Country Women's Association of Victoria ANZAC biscuit recipe.
And, oooh, I was NOT disappointed that I did.



These ANZACs are just about as close to biscuity perfection as you can get - just the right combination of crispy on the edge and chewy in the centre!

And since they're so perfectly delicious, I'm sure the Victorian CWA ladies wouldn't mind me sharing =)

ANZAC Biscuits
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 125g melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Mix dry ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl. Add melted butter, syrup and boiling water to which the bicarb has been added. Mix to a firm consistency. Place on a greased oven tray and flatten. Bake in a moderate oven (180Cish - depending one your oven) until brown (I think mine took about 10 minutes - but just keep an eye on them =))

Taa daa - ready quicker than you watch an episode of Law and Order Criminal Intent - even if you fast forward through the ads!

xo